So here’s a bit of a major announcement regarding my career.
After 34 years in journalism, including nearly 20 at my present company, I’ve decided to give full-time attention to being an author. My last day with a full-time day job will be Sept. 27.
I’ve wanted to make this move for years … ever since my first book, “Murder in Wauwatosa: The Mysterious Death of Buddy Schumacher,” was published in 2012. And then again, when “Wicked Columbus, Indiana” came out five years later. But, because this is a pretty big leap of faith, I didn’t feel as though I should do it until the situation was just right. And it is. If ever there was a time for me to do this, it’s now.
I’ve met so many wonderful people and had so many educational experiences in my journalism career, which began when I was a part-time score taker in the Milwaukee Sentinel sports department right after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1985. I became a sportswriter there and stayed in sports through a move to Pioneer Press, a chain of weekly papers in the Chicago suburbs, and on to Shelbyville, Indiana, where I was hired as sports editor in 1994.
I got into other areas of journalism, and have been a special publications editor for AIM Media Indiana (and its predecessor, Home News Enterprises) for close to two decades now.
But, with my wife’s blessing, it’s time to move on.
I’m eager to start this new chapter. Partially because my wife has three books published and I only have two, so I need to catch up. (I’m not lying. Look her up here. Kimberly S. Hoffman writes kids books. She really does).
But I am kidding about needing to catch up part. It’s not a race. It’s about doing what I do best — research, writing and editing. So doggone it, that’s what I’m going to do.
My top priority will be to finish the novel I’m working on: “3 Months in Dublin.” That’s Dublin, Ireland, in case any of you Dublin, Ohio, or Dublin, Virginia, folks think I’m writing about your town. The book is about an American man in his 50s whose life has hit rock bottom and decides that spending a considerable about amount of time in the home of his ancestors will allow him to reboot his life. Things don’t quite go as planned. My wife and I have spent time in Ireland in 2017 and this year, so I’ve had a chance to do plenty of research in person.
Beyond that, I’m hoping to land some freelance assignments editing, writing, doing related things. I’ve got some connections and have a few feelers out already.
But I’m not going to lie … I’m already feeling some anxiety knowing that the steady flow of paychecks will stop in October. So the excitement is coming with a bit of scary, too.
So feel free to buy my books (they’re available just about everywhere in both print and e-book formats), post online reviews (even if they’re really short) and tell other people about the books. That will ease some of my fears.
Then, stay in touch if you’re so inclined. Follow this website. Like my author pages on Facebook: the general author page here and/or the “3 Months in Dublin” page here. I also plan to start a monthly newsletter, just not until I’m actually done with the present day job. I’ll announce how to sign up when I figure out how people who have newsletters do that.
You can contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks everyone for all your support!